If you have ever struggled to find out where the definition of products, parts and appliances is, you are not alone …I can now understand the drama you have experienced by doing your search.

This terms pop-up time to time in the EASA rules and, although I remember that a product is either an aircraft or an engine, I could not recall anymore what the difference between parts and appliances is.

I believe that I have already came across such a doubt few years ago but now, I cannot recall anything at all.

Therefore I have used my time to retrieve the information and writing them down here, once and for all!

The good news is that I have finally found out that such a definition is here:
REGULATION (EC) No 216/2008 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL …otherwise known as the “Basic Regulation“.
According to its article 3:

  • ‘product’ shall mean an aircraft, engine or propeller;
  • ‘parts and appliances’ shall mean any instrument, equipment, mechanism, part, apparatus, appurtenance, software or accessory, including communications equipment, that is used or intended to be used in operating or controlling an aircraft in flight; it shall include parts of an airframe, engine or propeller, or equipment used to manoeuvre the aircraft from the ground;

The bad news is instead that it is still not clear what the difference between parts and appliances is supposed to be.

Even thought you likely think that a standard English dictionary might help better than the never-ending search in the EASA web site (and you might not be wrong), sometime search can bring us to nice discoveries.

I have indeed found out that such a difference is not so important anymore and the very good news is indeed that in the upcoming New Basic Regulation, which is supposed to enter in force the 3rd quarter of 2018, the term “appliance” disappears.

The new Article 3 gives the following “easier” definitions:

  • ‘product’ means an aircraft, an engine or a propeller;
  • ‘part’ means any element of a product, as defined by that product’s type design;

It is very nice to see things moving towards simplification. Whoever did this, thank you dear ..well done!